A Doll's House, Part 2
By Lucas Hnath
Directed by David Austin-Gröen
February 24–March 11, 2023
Performing location TBA
“It is perceptive, funny and intelligent, but smarts like a slap in its portrayal of gender roles and the expectations of what it is to be a woman.” —DC Theatre Scene
With a knock at the door, Nora Helmer is launched back into a household she helped burn to the ground 15 years before, and even after all this time, family ties not only bind, they strangle. Confronting the family she devastated takes more courage than she expected, but, for Nora, it is also an opportunity for a new beginning. This bitingly funny sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 revolutionary masterpiece asks provocative questions about the roles we choose to play, the responsibility of the family, and questions how much has really changed for women in over 100 years.
CONTENT WARNING: Adult themes and language. Questions about content? Contact OpenStage at 970.484.5237.
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“…a kind of naughty imposition on a classic, which, in addition to investing Ibsen’s signature play with the humor that the nineteenth-century artist lacked, raises a number of questions...” — The New Yorker
It’s now 1894, and the stately silence of the Helmer household is interrupted by a knock at the door. Nanny-turned-housekeeper Anne Marie opens the door and admits Nora into the household she abandoned long ago. Nora has spent the last 15 years living an independent life as a successful writer. Her latest book challenges the very concept of marriage, much to the consternation of the powerful men whose wives have walked out on them after reading it. Under a threat of blackmail, Nora is shocked to discover that she is still married as Torvald never filed for divorce. She seeks to enlist the aid of Anne Marie and eventually her own daughter Elly to convince Torvald to file. He has his own ideas.
You don’t need to be familiar with the Ibsen original to get this show and folks fearing a stuffy 19th-century Norwegian drama will be presently surprised to find that Hnath has taken a very modern approach to the material. The dialogue is peppered with expletives and the humor is sharp and pointed but the essence of Ibsen remains.
By the show's end, we still don’t know what lies ahead for Nora. Maybe in another 138 years…
“... dazzles with its wordplay, the ebullient humor that is on the delirious verge of spiraling into screwball comedy, the tangle of emotions that knot and vex and bubble up no matter how hard you try to suppress them.” — DC Theatre Scene
OpenStage Theatre’s etcetera Season is raw, real, honest, and intimate cutting-edge theatre in non-traditional spaces. With the actors only a few feet away audience members are drawn deeply into the action of the play, creating a powerful and unforgettable experience. Be prepared for a moving, intimate experience that will leave you thinking and feeling long after the lights come up.
The location of this production is to be announced!
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Lucas Hnath grew up in Orlando, Florida. He moved to New York City in 1997 to study pre-med, and then changed to dramatic writing at the Tisch School of the Arts, at New York University, earning a BFA in 2001, and an MFA in 2002. He teaches at New York University and is a resident playwright at New Dramatists.
Other plays include: Red Speedo, The Christians, and Hillary and Clinton.